Check Ya Halloween Get-Up Isn’t Illegal Before Gettin’ Spooky Tonight

Ah, Halloween. It’s a time to seriously assess whether paying $30 for a single pumpkin is a worthwhile investment, to take a chance on being the only Harambe at your annual piss-up, and to deal with true-blue ‘Strayans who reckon the decidedly American fest should actually be outlawed. 
While the fun police have issued their verdict on that last one, it’ll probably be some time before the actual cops ban the spookiest of festivities (them’s the breaks, Dad). That being said, it turns out Halloween brings a genuine set of legal no-no’s y’all should avoid. 
As a general rule, shooting people / giant LSD-rabbits is frowned upon.

The recent epidemic of creepy goddamn clowns actually provided a primo example of how your Halloween costume could lead to charges bein’ laid against you.

Earlier this month, a 19-year-old in full clown get-up was arrested in Western Australia for allegedly chasing a group of teens. He was nabbed for disorderly conduct, and another v. interesting charge: “possession of a disguise.”
While some of us might wish the 5-0 could indiscriminately ping bozos in Bozo suits, that charge was actually laid in accordance with WA’s Criminal Code. It states “a person who is in possession of a thing with the intention of using it as a disguise in connection with committing an offence is guilty of an offence.” 

Essentially, if you get caught doin’ something illegal while wearing an identity-concealing costume – like harassing unwilling participants, which is kinda shit – the very fact you’re disguised could count as another charge against you. 
In WA, the fine associated with the offence tops out at $6K; in Victoria, depending on the seriousness of the accompanying offence, the penalty for possessing a disguise is up to two years behind bars. Similar laws are in place nationwide, so your last-minute prank suit could come out a lot more pricey than a $3 mask.
You. This is literally you if you get busted.

That’s not the only way your disguise could work against you, either. You only need to look as far as the Jalal Brothers – remember them? – who were charged by Victoria Police for possession of a prohibited weapon. That was just simply because they flashed a fake AK-47 at two actors in a skit they passed off as legit. 

We shouldn’t really need to outline this one, but if your costume involves, uh, the lack of a costume, you’re best off getting nakey in a private place with people who are a-okay with your rampant nudity. Public indecency offences still count, even if it is the night to skirt that boundary. Or to remove your skirt from any relevant boundary.

The fine folk over at Queensland Police have also issued a lil’ run down of tips for trick or treaters choosing to brave the streets on this fine eve. They kindly remind you to stay out of strangers’ places, even if they offer you copious amounts of lollies, and to travel with a whole squadron of your fam / fav ghouls, especially if you’re bringing the tykes along.

As an aside, PEDESTRIAN.TV contacted Victoria Police to see if Halloween brings about a jump (a jump scare, even?) in certain crimes being recorded. In turn, they said “crimes in ‘Halloween costumes’ is not a statistic that is captured.”

Judging by how many exciting ways there are for you to fall afoul of the law, we def reckon they should take more notice. On that Scooby Doo tip, for real.

Have a cracker tonight, fam.

Photo: Donnie Darko.